Discover the Facts: The Old Testament S.O.A.P Bar for Ultimate Cleansing

Discover the Facts: The Old Testament S.O.A.P Bar for Ultimate Cleansing

The use of soap for personal hygiene may not have been prevalent before the Christian era. There are two mentions of soap in the Old Testament. Jeremiah says, "Even if you wash with Nitre, and take much soap, your iniquity is marked before me." A more modern translation reads: "Even if you wash with soda and lavish soap." There are doubts about whether this is a reference to true soap, as it has been suggested that it might be lye made by mixing alkaline plant ash with water, or possibly a kind of Fuller's earth.

Bible Old Style Soap

This view is perhaps supported by the second mention in the book of Malachi, where both the authorized edition of 1611 and modern translations read almost identically: "He is like a refiner's fire, which a fuller's soap."

It has been suggested that one form of soap, made by boiling fats with ashes, was made in Babylon as early as 2800 BC, but was probably only used for washing clothes. Pliny the Elder (7 BC-53 AD) mentions that the Phoenicians made soap from tallow and beech ashes in 600 BC.

In ancient times, perfumed oils were widely used for bathing and were combined with a tool called a strigil, which was used to scrape the skin free of oil and dirt. It is believed that the Romans used a type of clay called "sapo," found near Rome, to wash themselves, from which the word "soap" is derived. Another theory is that the Romans learned the art of soap-making from the Celts, who called it "saipo," using animal fat or vegetable ash. The use of soap in personal hygiene doesn't seem to have been widely adopted until the second century when the physician Galen (130-200 AD) mentioned its use for washing the body. Another doctor, Priscianus (around 385 AD), reported using soap as a shampoo and made the first mention of the trade in "saponarius," or soap kettle.

While the soap was in use during the Roman period, its adoption was slow, despite the popularity of public and private baths throughout the empire. Possibly early soap made from animal fat and crude alkali, was not very attractive and odor and was considered more suitable for cleaning and laundering. The remains of what could have been a soap factory were discovered in Pompeii, which was overwhelmed by an eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD, but maybe it was a place for the production of a type that Fuller's earth for the cleaning of textiles.

Early center of soap making:

Little is known of the use of soap in the Dark Ages that followed the fall of Rome. Personal hygiene was probably not a high priority in regions where life was uncertain. Saponins are widespread in the plant kingdom, and these plants Saponaria officinalis, Quillaia saponaria, Gypsophila species, and Sapindus species contain useful amounts can be used for cleaning purposes. 

The manufacture of soap in Europe and the Mediterranean was revived in the late first millennium. The early center of production was Marseille in France and Savona in Italy. It has been suggested that the French word Savon, the soap comes from the name of the latter center.

In Britain, references began to appear in literature from around 1000AD, and in 1192 the monk Richard Devizes referred to the number of soap makers in Bristol and the unpleasant smells that their activities produced. A century later, soap-making was reported in Coventry. Other early manufacturing centers covering York and Hull. In London a 15th-century "shophouse" was reported in Bishopsgate, elsewhere in Cheapside, where there was Soper's Lane (later renamed Queen Street), and by the Thames in Black Brothers.

Early means of production: Throughout its long history of the chemical process for the manufacture of soap has not fundamentally changed. Neutral oils or fats are boiled with alkali in a reaction that produces soap and glycerin. Potassium salts produce soft soap Sodium soaps are harder and more widely employed. When metallic radicals are calcium or magnesium as insoluble soaps are made, this forms the foam produced when soap is dissolved in hard water. The quality of the produced soap is very dependent on the quality of the materials used in the reaction. Earlier attempts at soap relied on ash produced by burning various plant materials, as an impromptu of alkali. For example, the plant Salsola in Spain was burned to produce an alkaline ash called Barilla. This used in conjunction with locally available olive oil, offered a good quality soap, by salting-out or "Graining" the boiled liquid with brine, Law soap to float to the surface, leaving the lye, vegetable colors and impurities to settle out. This produced what was probably the first white hard soap: Jabon de Castilla, or Castile soap, also known as chemists or hispaniensis sapo sapo castilliensis. Originally an important product of the Castile region in central Spain, Castile eventually became the generic name for the hard, white, olive oil soap.

Chemistry soap:

Glycerin was first observed by the Swedish chemist Scheele in 1779, which called it "the sweet principle of fat". But it was the great French chemist Michel Eugene Chevreul, born in 1786 and living in the age of almost 103, to studied chemistry and soap to identify the "sweet principle" as the common denominator of fat and to call it "glycerine". Working in the first quarter of the 19th century, he showed that oils and fats are glycerides, and that boiling with caustic soda or caustic potash formed salts of fatty acids, or soaps, liberating the glycine, which he has obtained a production patent activity in 1811. This knowledge paved the way for the great extension of soap later in the century when more secure sources of alkali were significant.

The traditional method of manufacturing soap involves boiling oils and fats with a caustic solution in open pans, followed by the addition of salt or brine to separate the soap from lye. The process is controlled by a skilled operator who assesses the need for more brine or caustic based on the texture of the soap. The soap is then washed in brine and caustic solutions to separate it from glycerin. After drying, the soap is cut into bars for delivery. Modern soap manufacturing processes are continuous and supported by instrumentation and automatic control systems.

Soap has various applications in pharmacy, including in liniment creams, dentifrices, plasters, enemas, suppositories, and ointments. The use of soap in pharmacy dates back to the 18th century, and traditional soaps made with olive oil and basic salt continue to be popular for washing and bathing.

What does soap symbolize in the Bible?
SOAP stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer and involves four simple steps: Scripture – Read a short Bible passage out loud and/or write it out. 
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